The Argus: Brighton Festival Thumb Chirping of cicadas, ticking of a clock. Sounds which would have spelled home to Aung San Suu Kyi as she was growing up, must have become torture during her 15 years under house arrest.

Suu Kyi’s political conscience was stirred to action by a protest in Rangoon in 1988, during which a crowd of people just sat down in a quiet square and were gunned down for merely muttering the word “democracy”.

“The bayonets finished what the bullets had begun,” exclaimed Liana Gould, who, attired in faded scarlet cotton, took on the majestic mantle of Burma’s champion for democracy.

Suu Kyi’s story hardly needs dramatising, as it has all the ingredients to stand up on its own. A slight, serene-looking woman subduing angry soldiers with her pure courage and self-belief; someone with a heritage to carry on; an unshakable commitment to democracy and human rights.

Under Owen Lewis’s direction, Liana Gould did some justice to this modern-day icon through Richard Shannon’s descriptive, if slightly florid, script. However, she appeared at times to hold back from the emotion, leading to the feeling that you were being proclaimed at, rather than pulled into the heart of Suu Kyi.

“I can’t be free until all are free,” she concluded on her release, finally, on November 13 2010, a sentiment that on anyone else’s lips would sound overblown, even pretentious. But coming from Suu Kyi, you knew it was true.